Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A little history...

Life for me would not have been possible without the first Lawrence Reiter (1905-1963) ,born to my great grandfather John Reiter and great grandma, Sophie Fitter. The Reiters emigrated from the Black Forrest of Germany and ran a coal mine in Castle Shannon, outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. John Reiter was known to be strong as an ox.  According to Hermes, my great grandfather ate a daily breakfast consisting  of 6 eggs, 4 pork chops and a half a loaf of bread. 
Lawrence Sr., a young hustler in his heyday, dabbled in entrepreneurial endeavors ranging from restaurants to a ceiling fan franchise. As a proud third generation American he chose to "fight the good fight" and kill Nazis in World war 2. He brought nabbed a German Luger which is still being passed around in the Reiter family today. My grandfather married Agnes Liptik and together they had Lawrence Jr., aka Hermes on August 4, 1946. Hermes was born in Pittsburgh, Pennysylvania, at the same hospital Andy Warhol was born in. Hermes and his father lived together in Los Angeles, by the Watts Towers, until Lawrence Sr. passed of lung cancer, due to fighting in WW2, in 1963.
From there on out Larry Jr. began his journey as Hermes, and on the way to become a photographer, CIA agent, philosopher, book editor, a good friend to many, and my Father....


  1. I first met Larry jr. after his father died and he came to live with our old maid aunts Marcella the oldest daughter who took over as mother figure after Sophie suddenly died six months after the eldest son Timothy was killed after being caught in a coal cutter at age eighteen and cut ear to ear.And the youngest daughter Marie. They lived together all their lives. Larry Jr. and me hit it off. He said he played semipro baseball for the dodgers for awhile, before he moved east. I will never forget his maniacal laugh! Needless to say that it was difficult for all involved. He lived on the third floor, Marie, the second, and Marcella on the first. It was the big house where my mother and her eight siblings were raised. My mother was nine years old when Sophie died. The youngest my uncle Joe was three.John Reiter owned the coal mine and every morning before school, my mother would drive the truck to deliver my grandfather and his brothers Matthew and Peter to the mine to work.They called John "Tout", and Matthew, "Mutts", my father told me uncle Pete would be wearing a coat on a hot fourth of July. I lost contact with Larry when he started to travel, I think first to New York city, then eventually to India and parts unknown!

  2. Correction: Timothy Reiter died on 1/23/1926 at age 23

  3. Correction: Timothy Reiter died on 1/23/1926 at age 23